Mystery River: A Problem-Based Ecology Unit

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9781593633158: Mystery River: A Problem-Based Ecology Unit
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From the author of the best-selling Mystery Disease comes another exciting problem-based learning unit, Mystery River. This unit introduces students to a serious problem—the fictional town of Hopewell's prized freshwater mussel population is dying out, and the town's leading citizens cannot figure out why. Your students will take charge of the situation as they join a task force dedicated to solving the problem.

Is the river the mussels live in polluted? Has their habitat been disrupted by a new predator? Are local chemical plants to blame? Students will ask these questions and more as they investigate the problem from every angle and try to develop their own reasonable, real-life solutions. Along the way, they will learn valuable research skills, practice critical thinking, and develop presentations to show their results.

The book includes detailed guidelines for conducting problem-based learning units in the classroom, along with memos, observation charts, newspapers, maps, and everything else your students will need in their investigations. Teaching science and critical thinking has never been this easy and enjoyable!

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About the Author:

Mark Bohland is an educator, artist, and consultant. He is a graduate of Cedarville College and Ashland University, both in Ohio. He holds both Master of Education and Master of Photography degrees, and also is the author of Mystery River, published by Prufrock Press. Bohland began his teaching career in 1974. He has taught in both public and private schools, as well as inside the old, castle-like Ohio State Reformatory (where Shawshank Redemption was filmed).

For the past 9 years, he has worked with academically gifted students in five different buildings per week, across two school districts, and two counties. Bohland's enthusiasm and dedication in the classroom have earned him a "Teacher of the Year" award from the Ohio Association for Gifted Children. His motivation and inspiration of students has been recognized with a Crawford County "Business-Education-Student-Teacher" award. Bohland has spoken to hundreds of teachers and artists at local state and regional conferences. An expert in differentiated instruction, Bohland is available to facilitate workshops and provide in-class modeling, throughout the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

Review:

Would you like to offer the students in your classroom the opportunity to use newly acquired knowledge in complex yet practical ways? Do you want them to learn to assess real-life situations from a variety of perspectives based on alternate theories? Most teachers would answer "yes" to these questions; however, due to the required content that must be covered in the classroom every year, it is difficult to find the time to provide students with such learning experiences. Mystery River: A Problem-Based Ecology Unit may be just the resource you need to introduce your fifth- through eighth-grade gifted students to problem-based learning while addressing the standards in a variety of content areas. Author Mark Bohland makes this unit easy to implement by providing everything needed to facilitate a problem-based simulation that will empower the students in your classroom to take ownership of their learning as, with each new artifact provided, new questions arise and new knowledge emerges. --Gifted Child Today, Vol. 32, No. 4, Fall 2009

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